hello

Greetings to each and everyone of you.


This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

texts, images, poems, videos, etc.

It will continue to provide you with rich contents week after week.

 

International Youth Day – 12 August

The theme for International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth.

Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves. While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth. 

Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.

Ensuring that safe spaces are inclusive, youth from diverse backgrounds especially those from outside the local community, need to be assured of respect and self-worth. In humanitarian or conflict prone settings for example, youth may lack the space to fully express themselves without feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome. Similarly, without the existence of safe space, youth from different race/ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation or cultural background may feel intimidated to freely contribute to the community. When youth have safe spaces to engage, they can effectively contribute to development, including peace and social cohesion.

Source : Text : UNDESA Image : unhabitat.org

 

19th Sunday of Year B

There is… dreaming and dreaming!
When we are asleep, our unconscious has its own ways to bring to our slumber pictures and scenes that come unbidden.
But many of us also practise the art of… daydreaming and it is quite interesting what can come out of it!

A fertile imagination can place before us wonderful situations that we could only dream of.
While indulging into fancying successful activities, rewarding expeditions, and fascinating adventures of all kinds, most of us remain aware that it is purely that: fancying, imagining…

But, what if our wildest dreams turned out to become realities?
What if these things we hardly dare to picture were suddenly becoming REAL?

These thoughts came to me as I read the gospel of this Sunday (19th Sunday of Year B – John 6:41-51).
In that text, we hear Jesus speak astonishing words.

He says: “Everybody who believes has eternal life.”

Notice the verb is NOT in the future tense but the present.
Jesus is not promising something that will happen only later, only when certain conditions will have been met.
We want go on living, we dream of remaining alive, enjoying life… without end.

And, amazingly, Jesus assures us that this happy situation is… already ours!
What he proclaims is not something that belongs to daydreaming or fancying.
It is not wishful thinking, it is REAL, here and now.

Reading this, many will shrug their shoulders saying: ‘How can we be sure of this?’
Of course, it is a reality that we cannot see or touch.
We cannot assert its truth with our human ways of ‘proving’ things.

The only way we can be… ‘sure’ of it is by trusting the one who said so – there is no other way!
But it is a ‘sure’ way indeed.

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/19th-sunday-of-year-b/

Source : Image : Gostica.com

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People – 9 August

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

Background
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is celebrated on August 9 each year to recognize the first UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations meeting in Geneva in 1982. On December 23, 1994, the UN General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People should be observed on August 9 annually during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.

In 2004 the assembly proclaimed the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005-2014). The assembly also decided to continue observing the International Day of Indigenous People annually during the second decade. The decade’s goal was to further strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous peoples in areas such as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development.

In April 2000, the Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution to establish the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that was endorsed by the Economic and Social Council. The forum’s mandate is to discuss indigenous issues related to culture, economic and social development, education, the environment, health and human rights.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com   Image: yyccies.blogspot.com

 

18th Sunday of Year B

In the text of the gospel of this Sunday (18th Sunday of Year B – Jn.6:24-35),
We hear a question that possibly many of us have secretly asked at one time or another:
“What must we do to do the works of God?”
 
And Jesus’ answer is short and to the point:
You must believe in the one sent by God.”
 
Simple and clear, is it not?
Perhaps… too much so… we may miss the point, precisely.

We are asked to believe:

  • NOT a list of ideas
  • NOT a set of articles
  • NOT a collection of themes
  • NOT a group of subject matters

but a PERSON – God’s messenger, God himself among us, one of us.
The One who is REALLY REAL.
Yes, it is as simple as that, but as demanding as that.

Recognizing him for who he is,
Accepting him as such
Surrendering to him all that we are and experience from day to day.

Not some purely intellectual assent to truths – no matter how inspiring,
Not only the acceptance of defined dogmas,
but trusting that Man: Jesus of Nazareth – the Christ,
relying on him in all situations,
and clinging to him… as if one’s life depends on it, and it does indeed!

As simple as that, yes, but… once you try to live this… you will see!

Note: Another reflection is available in French on another theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/18e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Image: jesushippy.blogspot.com

World Day against Trafficking in Persons – 30 July

On the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the UN aims to create awareness about human trafficking and worldwide efforts to defeat this scourge.

In 2013, the UN member states adopted a resolution which designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. They declared that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”

The Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons was adopted in 2010 and urges governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to defeat human trafficking in all its forms. The UN plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programs to boost development and strengthen security worldwide.

Many Children Are Trafficked
Almost a third of all human trafficking victims worldwide are children, according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons released in December 2016 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Women and girls comprise 71% of human trafficking victims, the same report states.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), around 21 million people are victims of forced labor globally, and of these, a significant number are also trafficking victims.

The UN plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programs to boost development and strengthen security worldwide.

Serious Threat to Human Dignity
The UN resolution also states that trafficking in persons, especially women and children, constitutes an offense and a serious threat to human dignity and physical integrity, human rights, and development. Despite sustained measures taken at the international, regional, and national levels, trafficking in persons remains one of the grave challenges facing the international community, which also impairs the enjoyment of human rights and needs a more concerted international response.

According to the 2016 UN report, women and girls tend to be trafficked for marriages and sexual slavery, while men and boys are typically exploited for forced labor in the mining sector, as porters, and as soldiers. It also states that refugees from war and persecution are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking.

Source: Text & Image: TimeandDate

 

17th Sunday of Year B

Let us say that you go to borrow from your neighbour some cooking oil to cook a dish. Does it happen often that instead of giving you the small amount you ask for, the neighbour gives you a much larger quantity? Or, if a man goes to a colleague to borrow some special glue to repair something, does he expect to be given an extra tube on top of the one already started? This is rare among us people. We hope for help but not often do we meet with outstanding generosity.

I said it is like this “among us people”, but with God things are different. Today the 1st reading and the gospel are similar in giving us a good example of how generous God is with us. Through Elisha God says: “They will eat and have some left over.” And the same thing happened at the time of Jesus. We see Jesus concerned about people having nothing to eat.

He asks one of the apostles where to buy bread but he is testing Philip who replies: “Five loaves and two fishes, what is that between so many?” Jesus took them, said the blessing and “gave them out to all who were sitting ready, giving out as much as was wanted.” With this huge crowd, we would think it enough if each got a piece of bread. But God’s way is the generous way. They all ate as much as they wanted!

Look at God’s generosity in nature: we sow a few seeds and get bags of cereals. Look at the fruit trees heavily-laden with juicy and sweet fruits. God does not know how to count! God does not know how to measure. Or rather, he counts and he measures according to his love which is without measure. God gives and gives, always beyond our hopes and above our expectations. He gives us more health, more healing, more strength and more help. He blesses us with more joy and happiness, more success and good fortune. He grants us more peace and more security. All those good things we long for, he gives them “as much as is wanted.” 

As you read this, you may have doubts thinking of the prayers you made in the past and you say: ‘I asked God for that and he did not give me more of it, in fact he did not give it to me at all!’ This is possible, God does not give us always what we ask for. But have you found out what other gift – perhaps much greater – he gave you instead? A gift more precious than you could have dared to ask for. Think about it…

We heard in the gospel: “Jesus knew exactly what he was going to do.”He could have worked the miracle without asking for anything but he wanted to use the loaves and fishes from the small boy. God wants us to do our share, he wants us to work with him. At times, we ask God for this and that but we, ourselves, do nothing to make our desires come about. He is still ready to work miracles but he wants our efforts at pleasing him and turning to him in prayer. He needs that little something that comes from us.

Source: Image: Free Bible Images

World Tiger Day – 29 July

The tiger is the largest of the world’s big cats and this magnificent creature, with its distinctive orange and black stripes and beautifully marked face, has a day that is dedicated to it. This was first celebrated in 2010 and was founded at an international summit that had been called in response to the shocking news that 97% of all wild tigers had disappeared in the last century, with only around 3,000 left alive.

Tigers are on the brink of extinction and International World Tiger Day aims to bring attention to this fact and try to halt their decline. Many factors have caused their numbers to fall, including habitat loss, climate change, hunting and poaching and Tiger Day aims to protect and expand their habitats and raise awareness of the need for conservation.

Many international organisations are involved in the day, including the WWF, the IFAW and the Smithsonian Institute.  

Source: Text: DAYS of the YEAR   Image: Wikipedia

World Hepatitis Day – 28 July

 

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver tissue. Some people have no symptoms whereas others develop yellow discoloration of the skin and white of the eyes, poor appetite, vomiting, tiredness, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. (Wikipedia)

Organised and held each year on July 28th by the World Hepatitis Alliance, World Hepatitis Day draws attention to disease which, while certainly heard of by many, is not fully understood by most. Yet right now, 300 million people around the world are unaware that they’re living with viral hepatitis.

Each year, over 1.3 million people die from hepatitis, while two in every three liver cancer deaths are directly attributable to it. Using the day as the perfect opportunity to highlight this issue, charities around the world continue to find those undiagnosed people and push them towards the care they need, avoiding yet more preventable deaths.

Source: Text & Image: www.awarenessdays.com

 

 

16th Sunday of Year B

The relationship between a shepherd and his flock is not something one is used to in our society.
A text that would describe this would belong to literature and…
one could venture to say that there is a touch of sentimentality about it!

The Bible offers us such a description and, in the 1st reading of this Sunday (16th Sunday of Year B – Jr.23:1-6)
through the prophet Jeremiah, God speaks movingly about how precious to him his flock is.
For us, people of the 21st century, what is meaningful is perhaps not the description but the evocation that such a text provides.
What comes to mind and what speaks to the heart is the care and concern involved in such a relationship.

Care and concern…

  • New-born and children need that.
  • Teen-agers do too, reluctantly of course!
  • The sick, the handicapped, the weak…
  • Those who experience distress and loneliness….
  • Those struggling with misfortune, failure, despair.

And… when all is said and done, do WE not ALL need a caring friend, or a concerned relative?
Someone who shows understanding and empathy when we need them most.
Someone who will take time and trouble to come to our help when we can no longer cope.

I wonder, yes, I do… how many people are aware that God himself offers us precisely that:
care and concern born of a compassion beyond words.
The very compassion we hear about in today’s gospel (Mk.6:30-34) as we read:

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them,
because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/16e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Images: amboa.ph   livelifelike.com

Nelson Mandela International Day – 18 July

Nelson Mandela International Day, also known as Mandela Day, is held on July 18 each year. The day remembers Mandela’s achievements in working towards conflict resolution, democracy, human rights, peace, and reconciliation.

Background
Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, on July 18, 1918. He is one of the most well-known anti-apartheid activists in South Africa. He was jailed in 1963 for leading the liberation movement against apartheid and for his stance on the human right to live in freedom.

Mandela’s prisoner number was 466 and the year was 1963 when he was imprisoned on Robben Island, off Cape Town in South Africa. The Robben Island prisoners were never referred to by their names, but rather by their numbers and year of imprisonment – hence 46664 was Nelson Mandela’s number. His release from prison in 1990 fed political debates in the country and contributed to South Africa’s transition towards a multi-racial democracy.

After his release, Nelson Mandela continued addressing racial issues in his country and supported reconciliation initiatives. His efforts resulted in him becoming elected as South Africa’s president in 1994. He remained in office as president until 1999. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize, together with another former South African president Frederik Willem de Klerk, in 1993. In 2007 Mandela formed the Elders, an independent group of global leaders who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major human suffering causes and promote shared interests of humanity.

The first Mandela Day was launched in New York on July 18, 2009, but the UN’s resolution to declare the day occurred later that year. On November 10, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring July 18 as “Nelson Mandela International Day”. The day marks Nelson Mandela’s contribution to peace through his active involvement in resolving conflicts, promoting human rights, international democracy and reconciliation, and in addressing racial issues.

Source : Text: www.timeanddate.com Image: Whatsaap Messages Status DP